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Before applying for CfA Telescope time, please check telescope and instrument availability below. Before applying for a PI instrument, contact the Principal Investigator and obtain a letter of approval to be submitted with your proposal.

First time users are expected to read the documentation and speak with the instrument PI if they have questions; the TAC chair can point people to recent users for practical tips.

COVID-19 update: The observatories have mostly returned to normal operation but travel restrictions may apply. Visitors to LCO are currently required to spend 3 days in "bubble mode" and have a Chilean government Mobility Pass.

NIGHTS AVAILABLE

  • 6.5m MMT telescope, located on Mt Hopkins in Arizona. Approximately 27 dark + 15 grey + 27 bright nights are currently available to CfA Scientists per 6 month semester.

  • 6.5m Magellan telescopes, located on Las Campanas in Chile. Approximately 9 dark + 6 grey + 9 bright nights are currently available to CfA Scientists on each telescope per 6 month semester.

  • Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO), located on Mt Hopkins in Arizona. The 1.2m telescope is dedicated to imaging; the 1.5m telescope is dedicated to spectroscopy. Approximately 66 dark + 33 grey + 66 bright nights are available on each telescope per 6 month semester.

SCHEDULING

  • Available?  The availability of instruments is indicated below. PI instruments generally require the permission of the PI to propose and use.
  • Queue?  MMT and FLWO instruments are mostly run in queue mode by the observatories, Magellan instruments are not. For instruments run in a queue, PI's submit their observing plan and target catalog before the scheduled observing run.
  • Remote?  MMT Blue Channel, and now most Magellan instruments, can be operated by PI's remotely via internet.
  • Service?  MMT and FLWO queue instruments are run by service observers at the observatories. At Magellan, we now have a service observer available to CfA PIs; the expectation is that the service observer will observe most Magellan nights unless PIs choose otherwise.

INSTRUMENTS

1.2m FLWO Available? Queue? Remote? Service?
Optical KeplerCam - CCD imager YES YES no robot
1.5m FLWO Available? Queue? Remote? Service?
Optical FAST - moderate dispersion single-slit spectrograph YES YES no YES
  TRES - high dispersion single-fiber echelle spectrograph YES YES no YES

 

6.5m MMT Available? Queue? Remote? Service?
Optical Binospec - moderate dispersion multi-slit spectrograph and imager YES YES no YES
  Hectospec - moderate dispersion 300-fiber spectrograph YES* YES no YES
  Hectochelle - high dispersion 240-fiber echelle spectrograph YES* YES no YES
  Blue Channel - moderate dispersion single-slit spectrograph YES no YES no
  MMT Cam - small field-of-view imager YES YES no YES
  SPOL - imaging spectropolarimeter Contact PI      
Near-IR MMIRS - multi-slit spectrograph and imager YES YES no YES
  ARIES - adaptive optics imager and spectrograph no**      
  MMT-Pol - imaging polarimeter no**      

* Hectospec/chelle are rarely scheduled in Dec-Jan because of a low-temperature operational limit.

** MMT Adaptive Optics System is offline for upgrades; it is not expected to be available for proposals until 2023.

 

6.5m Magellan I = Baade Available? Queue? Remote? Service?
Optical IMACS - moderate dispersion multi-slit spectrograph and imager YES no YES YES
  MagE - moderate dispersion single-slit echellette spectrograph YES no YES YES
Near-IR FourStar - wide-field imager YES no YES YES
  FIRE - high dispersion single-slit echelle spectrograph YES no YES YES
6.5m Magellan II = Clay        
Optical Megacam - wide-field imager YES no YES YES
  LDSS-3 - moderate dispersion multi-slit spectrograph YES no YES YES
  MIKE - high dispersion single-slit echelle spectrograph YES no YES YES
  M2FS - fiber fed multi-object spectrograph (planning) (reductions) Contact PI YES   YES
  IFUM - integral field unis for M2FS Contact PI YES   YES
  PFS - high dispersion single-slit echelle spectrograph Contact PI YES   YES
  PISCO - parallel imager no no   YES
Near-IR WINERED - Warm INfrared Echelle spectrograph Contact LCO yes    
  MagAO - adaptive optics imager(s) Contact PI no    

[Updated Sept 6, 2022 by WRB.]